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Author:Wilson, Daniel J. 

Journal Article
Are state R&D tax credits constitutional? an economic perspective

This Economic Letter discusses how the unique economic nature of R&D may bear on the question of the constitutionality of state R&D tax credits. In particular, I discuss the conditions laid out by the U.S. Supreme Court for determining the constitutionality of a state tax credit and how economic research can play a critical role in assessing whether these conditions are met.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
The Evolution of the FOMC’s Explicit Inflation Target

Analyzing the narrative of historical Federal Open Market Committee meeting transcripts provides insights about how inflation target preferences of participants have evolved over time. From around 2000 until the Great Recession, there was general consensus among participants that their inflation target should be about 1%, significantly below both average inflation over the period and survey measures of longer-run inflation expectations. By the end of the recession in 2009, however, the consensus had shifted up to 2%, which became the official target announced to the public in January 2012.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
Roads to prosperity or bridges to nowhere? theory and evidence on the impact of public infrastructure investment

We examine the dynamic macroeconomic effects of public infrastructure investment both theoretically and empirically, using a novel data set we compiled on various highway spending measures. Relying on the institutional design of federal grant distributions among states, we construct a measure of government highway spending shocks that captures revisions in expectations about future government investment. We find that shocks to federal highway funding has a positive effect on local GDP both on impact and after 6 to 8 years, with the impact effect coming from shocks during (local) recessions. ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2012-04

Working Paper
The production-side approach to estimating embodied technological change

We estimate the rate of embodied technological change directly from plant-level manufacturing data on current output and input choices along with histories on their vintages of equipment investment. Our estimates range between 8 and 17 percent for the typical U.S. manufacturing plant during the years 1972-1996. Any number in this range is substantially larger than is conventionally accepted with some important implications. First, the role of investment-specific technological change as an engine of growth is even larger than previously estimated. Second, existing producer durable price ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2001-20

Journal Article
Can the News Drive Inflation Expectations?

How households expect inflation to evolve plays an important role in explaining overall inflation dynamics. Household expectations rose dramatically over the past year or so, much faster than professional forecasters’ inflation expectations. News coverage can explain part of this growing gap. Analyzing the volume and sentiment of daily news articles on inflation suggests that one-fourth of the increased gap between household and professional expectations can be attributed to heightened negative media coverage. These results highlight the important impact of the content and tone of economic ...
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2022 , Issue 31 , Pages 6

Journal Article
Fiscal crises of the states: causes and consequences

The recession that began in late 2007 severely reduced state tax revenue and increased demand for many public services. In the near term, institutional and political factors limit the options states have for cutting spending and raising taxes. Aid to states in the federal economic program is winding down next year and the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. Painful budgetary choices lie ahead for many states, though the drag on the national economy should be modest.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
What's in your wallet? the future of cash

The payment landscape has changed dramatically in recent years as new technologies have been brought to market. Yet, the demand for U.S. currency?cold, hard cash?shows no sign of fading. An empirical analysis indicates that alternative payment technologies have tended to keep cash growth in check, but other factors have more than offset this. Over the next 10 years, cash volume is projected to grow 1.7% per year.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
Relative status and well-being: evidence from U.S. suicide deaths

This paper empirically assesses the theory of interpersonal income comparison using individual level data on suicide deaths in the United States. We model suicide as a choice variable, conditional on exogenous risk factors, reflecting an individual's assessment of current and expected future utility. Our empirical analysis considers whether suicide risk is systematically related to the income of others, holding own income and other individual factors fixed. We estimate proportional hazards and probit models of the suicide hazard using two separate and independent data sets: (1) the National ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2007-12

Working Paper
Can lower tax rates be bought? Business rent-seeking and tax competition among U.S. states

The standard model of strategic tax competition ? the non-cooperative tax-setting behavior of jurisdictions competing for a mobile capital tax base ? assumes that government policymakers are perfectly benevolent, acting solely to maximize the utility of the representative resident in their jurisdiction. We depart from this assumption by allowing for the possibility that policymakers, given the political and electoral environments in which they operate, also may be influenced by the rent-seeking (lobbying) behavior of businesses. Firms recognize the factors affecting policymakers? welfare and ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2009-29

Journal Article
Changes in income inequality across the U.S.

Over the past four decades, overall income inequality has increased in the U.S. One particularly striking feature of the data is that the income gap has widened most between the top and the middle of the distribution, while it has remained relatively stable between the middle and the bottom. The causal forces behind the increase in inequality have been a topic of much debate among the public, the media, and policymakers, as well as a rich field of research for economists. ; We examine income trends at the county level between 1990 and 2000. Basing our analysis on leading theories of the ...
FRBSF Economic Letter


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